Your baby turns a week old tomorrow and you have yet to walk around with him in your arms. Ever since the delivery, you’ve been bedridden—with excruciating pain between your legs. It’s all you can do to hobble to the bathroom without fainting, let alone carry your newborn.
Although you’re thankful that your doctor was able to safely deliver your precious son, whatever he did with the forceps in order to do so has definitely caused you a lot of agony. You’re grateful that if one of you had to suffer that it is you, but is all this pain normal for a forceps delivery?
Common Delivery Consequences of Forceps Assistance
Nearly 35,000 deliveries nationwide require the use of potentially harmful forceps in order to assist with extracting difficult babies from their mother’s womb. According to data taken from research conducted by the Mayo Clinic, one out of every twenty births requires assistance when a baby becomes stuck in the birth canal. Unfortunately, this assistance can not only cause damage to the baby, but also the mother. These maternal risks include:
- Perineum pain (the tissue between your vagina and your anus) and genital tract tears. Since the forceps are forced to stretch the perineum even more than the actual birthing process, irritation, soreness, and painful tearing is common.
- Injuries to the bladder or urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body). The excessive stretching and scraping caused by the forceps could damage the bladder and cause difficulty urinating.
- Anemia. Excessive blood loss during delivery can cause a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues.
- Uterine rupture. During a difficult delivery, your baby or the force of the forceps can break through the wall of your uterus and into your abdominal cavity.
- Loss of pelvic muscle strength. As a result of the excessive stretching and scraping of the forceps, your pelvic muscles and ligaments can weaken, causing pelvic organs to slip out of place. This is also called a pelvic organ prolapse.
Protecting Yourself Before and After a Forceps Delivery
Although there have been large strides in child birthing and delivery over the past 100 years, delivering a baby can still pose many dangerous complications for babies and mothers alike. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, or have been told that your delivery could be complicated, discuss your birthing options in detail with your doctor well before your due date. Make sure you discuss your concerns, including forceps risks, to make sure you’re on the same page and know what to expect.
Unfortunately, many delivery complications arise without warning, and decisions need to be made on the spot in order to protect your child. If you’re a victim of a poor forceps decision or the improper use of forceps caused your personal injury—you’re entitled to compensation.
Don’t allow your doctor’s mistake to cause you pain and suffering during what should be the happiest moment of your life. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We’ll help you understand, file, and pursue your birth injury claim to help you receive the settlement you deserve.
Do you know someone who is expecting? Make sure she knows her risks before it’s too late. Share this page with her via Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus to ensure she has the information to thoroughly discuss her delivery options with her doctor. She’ll definitely thank you for your support.
About the Author - Attorney Thomas G. Smith
Attorney Thomas G. Smith focuses on medical malpractice cases and has done so for the past 3 decades. He also has experience on the other side of the courtroom defending doctors and hospitals, and he now brings this experience to protect the rights of those injured by medical negligence. He is an award-winning legal counsel and has been named as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the field of plaintiff's medical malpractice law.